Hollande says no Assad in Syrian future; Putin reiterates Syrians should decide fate of Assad

DAILY SABAH WITH AP
BEIRUT
Published 26.11.2015 23:16
Updated 27.11.2015 09:02
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and French President Francois Hollande (L) attend a joint news conference after their meeting in Moscow, Russia, 26 November 2015. (AFP Photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and French President Francois Hollande (L) attend a joint news conference after their meeting in Moscow, Russia, 26 November 2015. (AFP Photo)

French President Francois Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on strengthening the cooperation in the fight against Daesh but the disagreement on whether Syrian President Bashar Assad should retain power remained on the table.

The French President called for forming a transitional government that would draft a new constitution and hold elections in Syria, while emphasizing that Assad had 'no place in' the war-ridden country's future.

At the end of the talks, both Russia and France agreed to coordinate their military action to avoid striking groups fighting Daesh.

However, contrary to Hollande, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Syrian people should decide Assad's fate, in a statement.

Putin called the Syrian army a "natural ally" of any international coalition fighting Deash.

However, he underlined that Russia is open to closer cooperation with both France and the U.S.-led coalition on selecting Deash targets.

At the same time, he lashed out at the U.S. over the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey, saying the U.S. should have prevented its coalition ally Turkey from making such a move.

He said that Russia will hold "serious consultations" with the U.S. over the incident.

Turkey's government and military leaders said after a high level meetingn Thursday, that Turkey and Russia should keep all diplomatic and military channels of communication open following tensions over Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet.

In a statement released after a regular High Military Council on Thursday, the Turkish leaders also recommended that the two countries' militaries take all measures possible to avoid new "undesired" incidents on the Turkey-Syria border.

Turkey shot down the Russian Su-24 military jet on Tuesday, after it had violated its airspace despite repeated warnings. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that Moscow has cut all military contacts with Turkey.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu presided over the bi-annual council meeting where senior government and military officials review security threats and other military matters.

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